Fact Check

No, Putin Did Not Order the Destruction of All COVID Vaccines in Russia

And they are not linked to a rise in HIV cases.

Published Mar 6, 2023

 (Mos.ru/Wikimedia Commons)
Image Via Mos.ru/Wikimedia Commons
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the destruction of all COVID-19 vaccines in Russia due to links to HIV/AIDS.

On March 4, 2023, an article on Real Raw News published a story with the headline "Putin Orders Destruction of All Covid-19 Vaccines in Russia." The article argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin "ordered the destruction of all Covid-19 vaccine stockpiles on Russian soil, citing an undeniable connection between what has been dubbed the 'Moscow Vax' and a sudden surge of HIV infections in vaccinated persons."

This story spread, getting tweeted by @Terror_Alarm, an account that claimed to be "news media" with a focus on "combating terrorism through AI." The account wrote, "Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the destruction of all Covid-19 vaccine stockpiles on Russian soil, 48 hours after the scientist who made Russian vaccine was found strangled to death."

We should note that in early March 2023, a Russian scientist who helped develop the country's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine was reportedly found strangled with a belt in his apartment, according to Russian media. An investigation was opened into his death, and Russian law enforcement claimed the death was a domestic crime and the result of a conflict.

However, the vaccine article above is satire and originates from a source that identifies itself as a website that "contains humor, parody, and satire."

The article made the absurd and false claim that after people received COVID-19 vaccinations, there was "a dramatic, countrywide spike in HIV infections among persons who had received three or more Covid-19 vaccinations and did not fit the standard demographic — homosexuals and needle users." 

The article went on to claim that Putin ordered the execution of 130 scientists after his own daughter got HIV:

Vladimir Putin, Zakharov said, arrived at the inescapable conclusion that vaccines could cause a person to develop HIV and AIDS. The evidence was unassailable; the more jabs a person got, the greater the odds of contracting HIV. Putin viewed the correlation as more than a simple coincidence—the vaccine was tailored to deliver Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. [...]

Putin, he added, has remained "pureblood," or unvaccinated, but one of his daughters was diagnosed with HIV two weeks after she'd taken her third jab.

"President Putin told her not to get any more vaccines, but she is Westernized, she accepted the lies, and now she must stay on medicine her whole life. This infuriated President Putin," Zakharov said.

The daughter's diagnosis was the last straw. On Wednesday, Putin decreed that Covid-19 vaccines be destroyed, and he banned all vaccine imports. The Russian military, our source said, has already destroyed vaccines at hospitals in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Chelyabinsk, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, and Saratov, and was forced to "put down" hospital staff that resisted the vaccine purge. Putin has reportedly said he will not rest until every vial is shattered.

Real Raw News is known for its publishing of satirical stories. We have no evidence that any of the above has occurred. There is no truth to the claim that COVID-19 vaccines are connected to HIV cases rising. The sharing of this article alongside the reports of the death of a Russian vaccine scientist appears timed to generate misinformation. We rate therefore rate this claim as "Labeled Satire."


Hagen, Isobel van. "A Russian Scientist Who Helped Develop the Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine Was Found Dead, Authorities Say." Insider, https://www.insider.com/russian-vaccine-scientist-covid-strangled-death-belt-2023-3. Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.

"Investigation Opened into Murder of Researcher That Helped Develop Sputnik V Vaccine." TASS, https://tass.com/society/1584659. Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.

"Putin Orders Destruction of All Covid-19 Vaccines in Russia." Real Raw News, 4 Mar. 2023. https://realrawnews.com/2023/03/putin-orders-destruction-of-all-covid-19-vaccines-in-russia/. Accessed 6 Mar. 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.